Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And Away We Went

I didn't disappear.  Well, not entirely.  Just from this continent.  Well, hemisphere.  Both hemispheres, I guess, if you want to get technical.

Oh, hell, we went to Australia.  There, I said it.

For the record, 14- and 15-hour plane flights are just as bad as you think.

But in the end, it's all worth it.

We flew into Sydney on Friday, March 7.

Oz had to remember (and/or relearn, depending on how you look at it) how to drive on the left, and I was introduced to new things like speed limit signs that A) look altogether different, and B) change depending on traffic patterns and time of day. (And new yield signs that said "Give Way," and stop signs with blacked-out stoplights on them, and the fact that you can't turn left at a stoplight unless there's a sign or a light that specifically gives you permission, and all sorts of other fun little things.)

We bought the most expensive tank(s) of gasoline we've ever purchased in our lives.

We saw lizards everywhere, from the tiny...

…to the huge.  (To be fair, this one was behind glass at the zoo, but still.  There really where lizards everywhere.  Doodlebug was in Herpetology Heaven.)

Some of the trees may, apparently, try to kill you...

Look closely behind that white flower in the middle
to see a red-bellied black snake.
… and if they don't, that snake might.

But we happily went sightseeing, anyway,

and really enjoyed wandering around places with names like Taronga Zoo, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, The Rocks, the Queen Victoria Building, and the Blue Mountains (where we saw the Three Sisters, pictured later).

In addition to the plane flights, we rode on trams, trains, a skyway, cable cars, a bus, and a ferry.  We ate meat pies, scones (which is what Boo is holding here… pronounced skAWn, not scOHn), prawns, Australian sausages, biscuits (cookies) and plenty of 'chips' with 'tomato sauce' (fries with ketchup).  I did fix one dinner for our charming hostess (Oz's aunt) and her boyfriend, and I think they really enjoyed the jambalaya.

We snapped the ubiquitous photos that one must take when visiting Sydney.

And we even climbed the steps and touched the Opera House.  Oz and I found out later that there had been a concert of John Williams music on the weekend we were first there, and we almost wished we'd gotten tickets, but it would have meant dressing up… and really, that wasn't in the cards.

Getting dirty and digging in rock pools was on the agenda, however,...

… and since the waves were a little too rough, swimming in a true ocean-water pool was right up Boo's alley.

Oz got himself pinched by a crab,

and he found sea stars for Doodlebug to hold and shells for me to bring home.

We drove up to the Blue Mountains and saw the Three Sisters and heard the legend of their creation,

and we rode on the world's steepest passenger railway, a nice, slow ride that lasted all of two minutes but which thoroughly freaked out the girl.

Doodlebug got to sleep in something called a swag, which is like a one-man tent.  (Think of Waltzing Matilda.)

But after all our adventures (and a really long flight back), we were ready to be home.

So when we saw this one last sunset on the plane, on the very last flight between Dallas and Tulsa… we were all ready to fall into bed.  Which we did, and we slept for about 14 hours.

Thanks to Oz's family for hosting us and to the weather for not raining on us at all and to Sydney for being an absolutely glorious place to visit.  Maybe one day, we'll get to visit again.

But not too soon.  Because those flights really are just as bad as you think.


Common Household Mom said...

It looks and sounds like a wonderful trip! Seeing all those creatures (preferably behind the glass in the zoo) and all those cool places would make it worthwhile.

I would love to go there, but, yeah - the plane ride sounds daunting to my creaky knees.

Anonymous said...

How cool! I remember talking about the trip when you visited me. Love the pictures!

Rue said...

What a wonderful place to go on vacation! I don't fly well, so the multiple hours on the plane would be...interesting. But what an experience!

Gillian said...

What an adventure! Great pictures, and oh what a long flight!